Today, we released updates to the OverDrive Media Console apps for iPhone (iOS) and Android, which include the addition of one-click, automatic downloads and other enhancements to user experience.

At the same time, we’ve updated the mobile ‘Virtual Branch’ sites for libraries with a Project Gutenberg collection, enabling access to the 15,000 DRM-free EPUB  eBooks on iPhone and Android. This gives users a chance to download an eBook directly to their iPhone or Android every time they visit your mobile site without waiting lists or holds.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the improvements that went live today:

One-click, automatic downloads

When an iPhone or Android user clicks on the download button on your mobile site, the OverDrive app, if installed, will launch and the download will begin automatically.  This update reduces the number of steps previously required to download.

Project Gutenberg on mobile sites

Prior to today, only the Android app had support for DRM-free Open EPUB eBooks from various online sources. Now the iPhone app can be used to read Open EPUB eBooks, as well.

With the support for Open EPUB eBooks enabled, we’ve added the Project Gutenberg collections to the mobile sites.  Now a user always has access to an eBook from your library’s ‘Virtual Branch.’ Project Gutenberg eBooks are prominently featured on the ‘Browse’ page under the heading ‘Browse Public Domain eBook Titles.’ (If your library offers eBooks but doesn’t have a Project Gutenberg collection yet, contact your project manager for information on adding the collection.)

Additional enhancements for Android

The updated Android app also features a new user interface that includes a lending countdown calendar when the user is in “Library” view.

In addition, we’ve also updated the eBook reader in the Android app to allow users to lock the page orientation to portrait or landscape view, regardless of how they rotate the device.

Additional enhancements for iPhone

The iPhone app received two performance enhancements, including improved page load when reading an eBook or changing the font size. The eBook reader was also updated so that the ‘Reader Settings’ that appear at the top of the page will automatically fade away after 5 seconds.

Most of new features outlined above can be adjusted in the ‘Settings’ section of the iPhone or Android app, so users can customize their reading and listening experience. We also have other enhancements in the works, so keep checking back for updates.

Dan Stasiewski is a marketing associate for OverDrive.

11 Responses to “OverDrive apps updated, plus Project Gutenberg eBooks on mobile sites”

  1. Kimberley

    This is great news! How are things coming for Android users to be able to view Adobe PDF ebooks? That would make Overdrive Media Console perfect. There are so few books available in PDF versus EPUB titles.

  2. Rita

    Will mobile users have the option of selecting “Only show titles with copies available” with this new mobile app? With the previous app, some of our patrons complained about have to scroll through pages of checked out materials before stumbling across something they could checkout and download.

  3. Diane

    Another option requested by mobile users is the ability to return ebooks before they are due via the mobile device.

  4. tim

    Does this update display the WMA audiobooks that will play on iPhone/iPod/iPad with this application? The previous version of this app only listed MP3 audiobooks.

  5. Bobbi

    I was hoping to see an early return feature to this update. Hopefully this will be in future releases.

  6. Stacey

    I love being able to get a new book while I am commuting on the train. Overall I’m pleased with the iPhone app and happy about the upgrades. That is the good.

    I would love to see a few other improvements:
    1) being able to “return” an e-book from my iPhone. When I finish a popular book that has a waiting list I would like to make it available to the next person on the waiting list rather then that person waiting longer than necessary.
    2) better search options with more sub categories, not just fiction.
    3) in the search feature having the option to show only available books. Mobile devices are not as quick as a PC so making multiple choices and finding your first 4 unavailable is frustrating.

    Again, overall I am quite pleased with the app.

  7. Stacey

    OK, now there is a new glitch. On the iPhone the updated version no longer allows the larger text.
    Please fix this or give us an option to go back to the old version.

  8. Krista

    Should the projet Gutenburg content be there automatically or is it being done library by library – I’ve updated the app on my iPhone and do not see that content in downloadLibrary.

  9. Scott Rollans

    I’m enjoying the app so far, despite its limitations and (for me) occasionally buggy behavior on my iPod Touch (G2). I’m also heartened to see that people are working hard to refine it.

    My biggest single request would be to have the app, by default, open to the page where I left off (as do other e-readers like Stanza and iBooks). Now, even when I have only a single title in my library, the app launches to my library page. And then, when I click on the title, it doesn’t reliably take me to the page where I left off. I’ve taken to placing bookmarks, but I don’t always remember.

    So, thanks very much for the app, and keep plugging away to improve it!

  10. putiye

    Krista :
    Should the projet Gutenburg content be there automatically or is it being done library by library – I’ve updated the app on my iPhone and do not see that content in downloadLibrary.

    Is it chargeable for library to add Project Gutenberg collection?